I told my parents I didn't want a Bat Mitzvah party. They said fine but next thing I knew I was on a plane to Israel with 9 of my relatives. I was too young to appreciate it.
  1. It was over Passover and there wasn't a leavened bread in the land. I was starving the whole time.
  2. My older cousins and older sister took to calling me Shawarma for the entire trip.
  3. I discovered my cousin Jen had a tongue ring which she kept telling me was a tic tac.
  4. My nana's boyfriend Harold floated away in the Dead Sea. My cousins Randy & Roby rescued him.
  5. Everyone else did the mud thing but I didn't because I was a stubborn teenager.
  6. We went to a kibbutz and I held a puppy.
  7. I said my Torah portion on top of a mountain. In braces. And a long sleeve lace top. It was year one of what would be a 7 year awkward phase.
  8. I messed up mid-portion and got flustered and started to cry. My family fibbed and said they didn't realize I messed up and thought I was crying because I got emotional with the prayer.
  9. I got stud earrings that were of a hand giving the middle finger.
  10. I got an Israeli army t-shirt.
  11. I was so hungry that I begged to go to the Hard Rock Cafe for a burger. My family was so embarrassed of me but they acquiesced.
  12. To this day those cousins still call me Shawarma.
  13. Technically I was Bat Mitzvah'd and I don't regret not having the party. I wish I did the mud though.
  14. I've never been back to Israel, I didn't go on Birthright, but I did watch the excellent Israeli TV show Srugim (available on Hulu Plus).